You should take TerritoryRE's advice and find yourself a good Buyer's Agent that has had experience in bank owned properties. Make sure your agent does a market analysis, I have had three recent encounters where the bank has foreclosed and re listed the home 15-25k higher than what the previous agent was trying to get for a short sale.
yes, that is the logical assumption about banks wanting to get the properties off their books but you will find this very often is not the case. Banks are still overwhelmingly disorganized when it comes to selling properties and often the agent listing the property doesn't help make that process any better. It is near to impossible to give you a set time frame on each stage of the purchase process because each bank is different (some less organized then others) but generally speaking you should plan on the process taking around 3 months to come together. Hire a buyer agent that has dealt with these types of transactions (do not use the listing agent!), They will help manage your expectations and keep your interests protected.